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Optimum compromise in current UK intellectual property law - Essay Example

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Where technological development has opened up new ways of distributing, storing, marketing and using protected works in the field of copyright and related rights, legislation bears watching. If creators' rights have to be protected as well as users' rights, the legal framework for such protection has to come up on the level so that laws can adapt if necessary.1
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Optimum compromise in current UK intellectual property law
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Download file to see previous pages Many complex questions are posed about intellectual property rights (IPRs) as the laws develop to take on EU directives. Against this backdrop is the central paradox of intellectual property law needing to control access to IPRs but simultaneously permitting non-owners access to those same rights. It is said achieving an optimum compromise here has always proven controversial.
Definition and categories. Intellectual Property is the name given to new ideas or concepts with practical application that the law recognises as having value by providing legal protection.4 IPRs are legal property rights that have an owner who can choose to sell or licence the IP to a third party or prevent their copying or using the idea without the owners' permission.5 IP are generally categorized as -
Copyright is an automatic and unregistered right protecting all manner of written works, drawings, artwork, photographs, films, websites, software and music.8 It protects the author's original expression as contained in the work but not the ideas.9 It lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years, giving exclusive rights to the author to prevent others from copying his work.10 The idea is that writers and artists should get some reward not only in their lifetime but for the benefit of their descendents as well.11
The first statute in Britain to refer to the rights of the author was the Statute of Anne in 1709, 12 but there was no real belief in the "rights of the author." 13 The efforts to protect copyright of British authors who publish abroad eventually led to the Berne Convention on Copyright of 1886.14 Later, the Treaty of Rome in 1928 gave more teeth to moral rights of authors in a higher profile of an international treaty. Next came the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act that made explicit connection between the economic rights and moral rights of the author.15 Obtaining now is the 2003 Copyright and Related Rights Regulations aimed to bring legal protection up to date with the digital environment. 16
Copyright generally covers the economic and moral rights of the author. The right to copy in copyright is alienable, i.e. it can be sold, licensed or given to a second party. However, the rights to alter a work, and to be represented as the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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